“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

– Exodus 20:7 (NIV)

Today’s commentary
by Caesar Kalinowski, GraceNYC.org

Did you know that God’s name is not God?! The word that we see throughout the Bible translated as LORD is actually a transliteration of the Hebrew letters that make up God’s name, meaning, “I AM that I AM”. God said that this would be his name for all generations. God’s people, the Israelites, were permitted to use his name in swearing solemn oaths, but they were not to use God’s name to pledge or make promises that they never intended to keep or for personal gain. To use God’s name in making a vow was to command the power and holiness of God himself into the relationship. It was to show others that we could be trusted because God was trustworthy. If we are keeping no other gods before God (the 1st Commandment), then we will never invoke God’s name and glory for personal gain. “Oh, you can trust me, I’m a Christian…” That would be putting our self and our desires before God’s. God cares deeply about keeping first position in our lives and is not pleased when we misrepresent him, and use his name to make us look like “gods” to others.

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